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Irish-Ace

Hand moved ball after picking marker up

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Hi folks, first post so hopefully you will be able to provide some info.

So I was a little bit careless today in replacing my ball and lifting the marker and as a result, when I lifted the marker up my finger slightly brushed off the ball causing it to move ever so slightly.

I stupidly continued to putt out and then called a penalty on myself of which I concluded it to be 2 strokes. 1 stroke for the initial moving of the ball when it wasnt marked and the 2nd stroke for not replacing the ball.

Was this correct? Thanks

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Rule 20-1

If a ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of lifting the ball under a Rule or marking its position, the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. There is no penalty, provided the movement of the ball or ball-marker is directly attributable to the specific act of marking the position of or lifting the ball. Otherwise, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke under this Rule or Rule 18-2a .

Rule 20-3

If a ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of placing or replacing the ball, the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. There is no penalty, provided the movement of the ball or ball-marker is directly attributable to the specific act of placing or replacing the ball or removing the ball-marker. Otherwise, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke under Rule 18-2a or 20-1 .

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So I should have just rolled the ball back slightly to its original position and would not have got a penalty. Even still, I should have only penalized myself 1 stroke for not replacing it. Lesson learned. Wouldn't mind but I had putted it in for a birdie 2. Sigh.

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Frankly, this is one of the few "kind" rules where the golfer is actually given the benefit of the doubt. You get to accidentally disturb the ball/ball-marker and get out of it for free in this situation. The rule makes sense, but it does violate the "move it and get penalized" intuition that we have.

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Originally Posted by B-Con

Frankly, this is one of the few "kind" rules where the golfer is actually given the benefit of the doubt. You get to accidentally disturb the ball/ball-marker and get out of it for free in this situation. The rule makes sense, but it does violate the "move it and get penalized" intuition that we have.

Yeah and the intuition definitely cost me today. Lesson learnt however. I just remembered Padraig Harrington getting disqualified for this a few years ago but because he signed for the wrong score and they said it should have been a 2 stroke penalty. Makes sense to be able to replace without penalty though if no benefit has been gained.

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Originally Posted by Irish-Ace

So I should have just rolled the ball back slightly to its original position and would not have got a penalty. Even still, I should have only penalized myself 1 stroke for not replacing it. Lesson learned. Wouldn't mind but I had putted it in for a birdie 2. Sigh.

Actually the wording is a bit confusing, but if the movement of the ball is directly attributable to the act of marking, then you must replace the ball and no penalty will be assessed.  If you fail to replace the ball, then you have played from a wrong place, and the penalty is two strokes, not one.  See Rule 20-7:

20-7. Playing from Wrong Place

a. General

A player has played from a wrong place if he makes a stroke at his ball in play:

(i) on a part of the course where the Rules do not permit a stroke to be made or a ball to be dropped or placed; or

(ii) when the Rules require a dropped ball to be re-dropped or a moved ball to be replaced.

Note: For a ball played from outside the teeing ground or from a wrong teeing ground – see Rule 11-4.

b. Match Play

If a player makes a stroke from a wrong place, he loses the hole.

c. Stroke Play

If a competitor makes a stroke from a wrong place, he incurs a penalty of two strokes under the applicable Rule. He must play out the hole with the ball played from the wrong place, without correcting his error, provided he has not committed a serious breach (see Note 1).

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Originally Posted by Irish-Ace

Makes sense to be able to replace without penalty though if no benefit has been gained.

Just what is 'no benefit' when a ball has moved towards the hole?

1mm,1cm, 10cm, 100cm? Do we need a tape measure? Which of course we can't use unless there is a local rule permitting distance measuring devices.

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Just what is 'no benefit' when a ball has moved towards the hole? 1mm,1cm, 10cm, 100cm? Do we need a tape measure? Which of course we can't use unless there is a local rule permitting distance measuring devices.

He meant no benefit if you replace it. You may have bumped it closer to the hole, but after you replace it your error margin is pretty much humanly negligible. You're directly watching the ball there and you see it move, so you can replace it pretty darned accurately. An error margin of a blade or two of grass won't even get you around a spike mark.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Actually the wording is a bit confusing, but if the movement of the ball is directly attributable to the act of marking, then you must replace the ball and no penalty will be assessed.  If you fail to replace the ball, then you have played from a wrong place, and the penalty is two strokes, not one.  See Rule 20-7:

Indeed, the wording is slightly vague. So for the rule to apply in my case, we have to presume that the "act of marking the ball" includes the removal of the said marker.

Originally Posted by B-Con

He meant no benefit if you replace it. You may have bumped it closer to the hole, but after you replace it your error margin is pretty much humanly negligible. You're directly watching the ball there and you see it move, so you can replace it pretty darned accurately. An error margin of a blade or two of grass won't even get you around a spike mark.

This is exactly what I meant. The ball infact only moved a dimple but enough that I felt I had to call it.

Thanks for all the replies.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish-Ace View Post

Indeed, the wording is slightly vague. So for the rule to apply in my case, we have to presume that the "act of marking the ball" includes the removal of the said marker.

Thanks for all the replies.

Here is the decision explaining what the rule means by "directly attributable".

Quote:
20-1/15

Meaning of "Directly Attributable" in Rules 20-1 and 20-3a

Q. What is meant by the phrase "directly attributable to the specific act" in Rules 20-1 and 20-3a ?

A. In Rule 20-1 the phrase means the specific act of placing a ball-marker behind the ball, placing a club to the side of the ball, or lifting the ball such that the player's hand, the placement of the ball-marker or the club, or the lifting of the ball causes the ball or the ball-marker to move.

In Rule 20-3a the phrase means the specific act of placing or replacing a ball in front of a ball-marker, placing a club to the side of a ball-marker or lifting the ball-marker such that the player's hand, the placement of the ball or club, or the lifting of the ball-marker causes the ball or the ball-marker to move.

Under either Rule, any accidental movement of the ball or the ball-marker which occurs before or after this specific act, such as dropping the ball or ball-marker, regardless of the height from which it was dropped, is not considered to be "directly attributable" and would result in the player incurring a penalty stroke.

x

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This happened a few years ago, someone called in. They basically had there HD tv, was recording it, and had to replay it and found the ball moved more than a degree rotation, and since the golfer didn't replace the ball he was given a stroke penalty, if he replaced it then it wouldn't have been. I honestly like this rule, it makes sense. There are some rules in golf i find strange, like not allowed to fix spike marks, that one is stupid in my opinion. Whats the different from a ball damaging the green and a spike mark damaging the green, both are outside objects that effect the condition of the green.

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Note: This thread is 2670 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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